This week, a joint operation by Spanish and Portuguese authorities resulted in the seizure of 745 kilograms of cocaine concealed inside pineapples.
The bust was part of an investigation that spanned almost a year and led to the arrest of nine members of an global drug ring, police believe. Investigators also confiscated $489,000 in cash. Once the wax hardened, tricksters then used pineapple skins to complete the facade.
A clandestine laboratory where cocaine was adulterated and "cut" was also dismantled, police said. "There is a distribution process and we are tracking the network and the peddlers". Apparently, the gang had the cocaine stored in Terrassa, Barcelona and transported it to Madrid laboratories every 15-20 days.
According to BBC News, the recent sting was part of an ongoing investigation between Portugal and Spain. The Portuguese authorities believe that "this organized global group had repeatedly brought large quantities of cocaine to the European continent".
Cocaine pineapple ring caught smuggling 745kg of drugs disguised as tropical fruit into Europe
They uncovered 754kg of the drug, which had been wrapped in wax-covered cylinders and hidden inside the fruit in shipping containers that had arrived in Lisbon.
The Iberian Peninsula is a major entry point for drugs and unrefined drug material coming into Europe from South and Central America.
The shipment was found in Portugal and Spain after coming from South America.